Radiation Writing
A road stretching out to the horizon with blue sky, dotted clouds, and Colorado scenery

How Can I Indulge in Wanderlust Between Adventures?

Looking down at my own feet, standing on a rocky trail.

Wanderlust tools of the trade: Your Feet

Wanderlust. For some of us, it’s more like wandergreed. We just can’t get enough traveling, exploring, adventuring, experiencing, or anything else that pulls our hearts away from home. Unfortunately, reality – you know, jobs, kids, home ownership, pets, and other adulty-type things – don’t always allow us nomads to travel whenever we feel the wanderlust. Luckily, there are plenty of things we can do to quench wanderlust without leaving home.

Plan Your Next Trip

A road stretching out to the horizon with blue sky, dotted clouds, and Colorado scenery

Freedom of the Open Road

Can’t be backpacking across Europe or through Patagonia right at this very moment? Then start planning your next adventure now, even if it’s months or years away. Think that won’t help quell your wanderlust until you can get hit the road? Think again. Science says it will. One study, published in Applied Research in Quality of Life showed that people who were planning a vacation were happier than people who had just returned from a vacation. Why? Because of the anticipation. Even people who are naturally non-planners (like yours truly) get a kick out of gearing up to get out.

I’ve been back from my last month-long trip for about seven weeks. Know how long it took to lose that “I just spent a month hiking, driving, and adventuring” high? About two weeks. But before I left, how long did my anticipation of the trip boost my attitude, productivity, and even how well I slept? From the moment I decided to do it. In this case, it was several months. Which is enough to turn me into more of a planner, at least when it comes to traveling…

Share Your Trips with Friends

What better way to relive your adventures than to put together something to remember and share them with? Whether you’re into photography, writing, scrapbooking, or dioramas, why use your craft to put together something about your experiences? You’ll have something awesome to help explain the awesomeness of your trip with those who weren’t there. You’ll have something to share with those who were there so you can relive it together. And of course, you’ll get to experience it all over again as you work.

Follow Your Friends’ Adventures

Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest… where ever your friends share their own photos (including those of their scrapbooks and diaoramas), blog entries, or posts, be there, too. You know how awesome it is when your friends ask you about your travels. It helps you relive them, right? So return the favor. You might be surprised at how much you get to experience in the places they have been.

Distill the Essence

Coffee-drinker'eye-view of a hot cup of joe, feeet up on the railing of a houseboat, with views of the lake.

Morning Coffee in Paradise

You might think my favorite way to quench my wanderlust without actually wandering is to write. Because, well, I’m a writer. But it’s not. My favorite thing to do is take my favorite moments from my adventures – laughing with friends around a campfire in Yosemite, having my morning coffee on the edge of a lake, or seeing one of my (now) favorite Cajun bands play for the first tie in Lafayette, Louisiana – and distil them down to their essence. What, exactly, did I enjoy most about those moments? Was it making new friends? Sharing moments with old friends? Exploring someplace new? Complete and utter relaxation? Whatever the best moments of your travels, find what made them so memorable for you – what makes you lust after more of those moments.

Then, recreate that essence wherever you are right now. Buy a small fire pit and invite your friends over to toast some marshmallows. Enjoy your morning cup on the porch for a few minutes instead of in the car on the way to work. Go to a local Cajun festival or throw one in your living room with a Spotify playlist, a pair of cowboy boots, and your favorite Abita beer.

Will it be the same? Heck no. But could it keep you from going crazy before you can get out and adventure some more? Maybe. And that’s better than a definite no.

 

How do you quench your wanderlust when you can’t leave home?

A pair of dirty, tanned feet being warmed by the fire beyond, darkness everywhere else

One of the simplest pleasures in life.

About the Author Kathryn

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